Monday, December 16, 2013

Preparing Personally For The New Year

Are you personally ready for the new year?

Routinely, I witness organizations prepare for the future. Through meetings, project teams and multiple spread sheets, a master plan is built. Then, people focus on the right things as they execute the plan.

However, I rarely see a leader who pauses and checks to see if they are personally ready for this level of work. We all know that planning the work and working the plan requires disciplined thought and action. But few of us reflect on whether or not we have the personal resources to rise to the challenge. We assume we do, but we seldom check to see if we actually do.

This week, I encourage you to do four things to personally get ready for the new year.  First, call up your primary care physician or nurse practitioner and get an annual physical. You would be amazed by how many people skip this simple step. Then, when they do finally get around to it, they are stunned by what they discover. Our physical health is a very important part of being ready for the new year.

Second, please sit down and evaluate whether or not your personal relationships are ready for the new year. Often, executives share with me that they are winning at work and loosing at home. With all the time they spend at the office, few have invested an equal amount of time in building and maintaining their relationships with their children and partners. It is always a sad day when I learn that another leader has sacrificed his or her family life and relationships to meet a Wall Street number. While some can be repaired, many suffer from the long term damage.

Third, plan your own personal life like you do your work. Start by setting your own personal goals for 2014. Determine how you are going to measure progress and then develop a system where you will check every 90 days about whether or not you are making progress. Setting goals and holding yourself accountable to personal goals is a master skill and a significant part of being a fine leader.

Finally, make time to have a spiritual life, not just a job. Attend regularly the church of your choice. Study spiritual material and reflect on what they mean to you and your family.  Seek out mentors who can help you have a greater perspective. By investing time in your local spiritual community, you will tap into a wellspring of insights and new thinking.

The new year will come and it will include it’s own challenges and celebrations. Being prepared personally will make a major difference in how much you enjoy it.

P.S. For those of you who are interested in creating a high-performance culture in your organization in the coming year, I encourage you to read the following article “The Keys to Building a High-Performance Culture” posted on-line on 12/12/13 at the Gallup Business Journal website.  Here is the link:

While the article focuses on research done with 3,477 business managers and 30,000 employees in businesses in the Gulf area, the six crucial components of a high-performance company are easily transferable to other business in other parts of the country.  The six keys are as follows:

1. Implement an effective performance management process.

2. Create empowerment and authority.

3. Increase leadership capability at all levels of the company.

4. Develop a customer-centric strategy.

5. Increase communication and collaboration.

6. Enhance training and development.

There are more details about each of the above keys in the article so I encourage all of you to read and discuss it with your leadership team.  Now is a good time for this depth of thinking and exploration.

Geery Howe, M.A. Consultant, Executive Coach, Trainer in Leadership, Strategic Planning and Organizational Change Morning Star Associates 319 - 643 - 2257

1 comment:

  1. Excellent suggestions Geery- & the Gallup article provided great insight as well! Thanks!
    Kim Crutcher